The foot lifting muscles are also referred to as dorsiflexors by professionals. Paralysis of this muscle group is known under many names: Peroneal paresis, peroneal palsy, foot drop.
To treat a foot drop, a dorsiflexion-assist bandage or dorsiflexion assist orthosis is often prescribed. In the following, we have summarised which treatment options may be suitable for this purpose.
In addition to the isolated paralysis of the dorsiflexors, other muscle groups may also be affected. We explain the effects of paralysis of the dorsiflexors and plantar flexors as well as in combination with paralysis of the knee extensors and hip extensors in the corresponding videos. The videos are still in progress and will be published soon .
You will find an overview all types of paralyses on the homepage.
Such an orthosis is often called “custom-made dorsiflexion assist orthosis” because it is equipped with a functional element for lifting the foot. It is most often prescribed for a foot drop (med. peroneal palsy). You can find information about the prescription of the right orthosis under this link.
The video describes the function of dorsiflexors and the gait in case of a weakness of this muscle group with activity level 1 or 2. It also shows why the recommended orthosis is the right choice in this case. Watch the other videos to understand why a dorsiflexion assist orthosis is only considered in this specific case.
Patients with activity level 3 or 4 and isolated paralysis of the dorsiflexors should be fitted with an orthosis of the following category:
In this case, just a dorsiflexion assist orthosis is not sufficient. Alongside a functional element for dorsiflexion assist, the orthosis also requires a functional element for supporting the controlled lowering of the foot during load bearing.
The video describes the function of dorsiflexors and the gait in case of a weakness of this muscle group with activity level 3 or 4. It also shows why the recommended orthosis is the right choice in this case and why an additional functional element is required besides the functional element for dorsiflexion assist.
Persons with orthoses are assigned different activity levels in order to be able to determine the strain and the resulting requirements for an orthosis. If you have already used our Orthosis Configurator, this categorisation will be familiar to you. Below, we explain the four different activity levels based on the categories we use.
1. Indoor Walker
Patients with activity level 1 are defined as indoor walkers. They can use an orthosis to move around at low speed on level ground and can only move around for a short time and only cover short distances.
2. Restricted Outdoor Walker
Patients with activity level 2 are defined as restricted outdoor walkers. They can only move at low speed with an orthosis, but are also able to overcome low environmental obstacles such as uneven floors, curbs or single steps.
3. Unrestricted Outdoor Walker
Patients with activity level 3 are defined as unrestricted outdoor walkers. They can move at any speed with an orthosis, overcoming most environmental obstacles. Patients with this activity level can walk on open terrain and perform professional, therapeutic and other activities, which do not apply an above-average mechanical load on the orthosis.
4. Unrestricted Outdoor Walker with Especially High Demands
Patients with activity level 4 are defined as unrestricted outdoor walkers with particularly high demands. They have the same abilities as individuals with activity level 3. Additionally, the increased functional demands can generate high impact loads, tension and/or deformation on the orthosis. Typically, patients with this activity level are children and athletes.